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October weather had no tricks

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October 2010 was a very quiet month for Denton County and DFW in general with a couple of exceptions. 

Our average highs and lows were spread somewhat wider than normal and we had one significant outbreak of severe weather.  No freeze yet, but we came close.   

For the record, our warmest afternoon was late in the month, Monday, October 25th, when we reached 87 degrees.  Our coolest morning was Friday, the 29th, when we briefly touched 35.  Light scattered frost was reported in a few areas, including parts of the Lantana Golf Course. 

When high pressure, relatively dry air, near-freezing temperatures and nearly calm winds coincide, water vapor can be squeezed out of the atmosphere, bypassing the liquid stage and be deposited as tiny ice crystals on solid surfaces.  That’s how frost forms.  The average ‘first freeze date’ in North Texas is Nov. 22.

Our average high for the month was 80, which is 2 degrees above normal.  Our average low for the month was 50, which is 6 degrees below normal. 

Rainfall was very sparse.  We had a trace on Oct. 22nd, followed by 1.55” on the 23rd which was our only measured precipitation for the entire month.

Officially, the Storm Prediction Center showed no verified storm damage in Denton County from scattered storms on the 22nd or 23rd, but we did have some storm advisories and a few warnings on what was a fairly stormy weekend for North Texas overall.  On Sunday the 24th, a new round of severe storms formed just east of Denton in Collin County. 

The first few continental cold fronts of autumn breezed through Denton and were very welcome, but the change of seasons had been unproductive in rainfall.  We ended October with 1.55” which is over 3 inches below normal, but remember we had over 9 inches of rain during September.  Although our rainfall has been ‘streaky’ this year, Denton has recorded roughly 32” of rain through October, which is close to our normal accumulation for this time of year. 

Meanwhile, the La Nina effect of cooler-than-normal ocean temperatures in the central Pacific continues to be evident in our mid-range and long-term forecasts through fall into winter.  We are expecting warmer-than-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall throughout North Texas during November, December and January. 

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist of WBAP 820 AM/96.7 FM. Follow him online at www.WBAP.com and www.bradsweather.com.

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About The Author

Brad Barton is Chief Meteorologist for WBAP 820/570 KLIF/99.5 "The Wolf." Read his column on Denton County weather each month in The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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